My father works all the time and we rarely get time to just talk and spend time with each other. I had gone to the grocery store to buy my weekly supply of groceries and was sitting in front of the gas pumps at Fat Albert’s pumping gas when my father pulled up next to me just by coincidence.
“Hey son,” He said as he rolled down his window to his Honda CR-V.
“Hey dad,” I said surprised to see him.
“Let me park. You pay for your gas and let’s go for a long ride and talk some,” He replied.
Dad parked his car in front of Fat Albert’s and I paid for my $31 dollars in gas with my Visa debit card and we headed out to the outskirts of town near the dam on the Chattahoochee.
“How have you been doing son?” He asked. “I don’t get to see you much these days. Work has been hell with the holidays approaching. I have been working fourteen hour days.”
“Oh, I am okay other than feeling slow and over medicated,” I replied.
“You worry me when you think and talk like that,” He said. “Your medication is supposed to calm you down and make you ‘slow.’”
I didn’t argue with him and just played along.
“You are probably going to get mad at me, but I spent $98 dollars at the grocery store tonight.” I told him.
“What did you buy? Steaks?” Dad asked half laughing.
“The food was only $58 dollars. I bought a battery charger and eight rechargeable nickel metal hydride AA batteries for my camera for Christmas,” I replied. “Those things are expensive.”
“Oh well, you deserve to buy something sometimes,” He said. “You really are extremely frugal and never spend much money.”
We turned around at the dam over the river and headed back. I and dad talked some more as we listened to the AM radio station out of New Orleans. I brought him back to his car and we both drove home. It was nice spending some time with my father without him being so judgmental and harsh with me. My father can be so overbearing sometimes and last night he was laid back and relaxed to deal with. Usually, I am a nervous wreck after being around him. I much prefer the company of my mother.